Harder, better, faster, stronger seems to be the perfect anthem for the automotive world, with cars always getting better in terms of performance and efficacy, by popular demand. Carmakers never fail to surprise us with their new lines of vehicles, but beyond power, design, and speed, the one aspect that all manufacturers are focusing on is safety.
While it’s true that traffic accidents remain a common occurrence on roads all across the world, and many of them are preventable, one can’t deny that driving is a lot safer right now than it was back in the day. Despite being much slower than today’s modern vehicles, the first automobiles were notoriously dangerous and caused a staggering number of fatalities.
The extensive list of car safety features that manufacturers in the automotive industry have developed over the years along with the numerous campaigns and programs aimed at increasing awareness about the dangers of distracted/drunk driving and promoting road safety have definitely helped minimise risks and reduce the number of traffic accidents.
Although there’s still a lot of room for improvement, we can’t help but be grateful for all these advances, so let’s take a look at some of the most notable innovations and find out to what we owe the level of safety and comfort that we enjoy today.
Just because cars are getting faster doesn’t mean drivers should put the pedal to the metal and go at full speed. That’s where speed limiters come into play to address the sometimes-uncontrollable need for speed that some drivers might have. And although speed limiter technology isn’t exactly a novelty, as it’s already widely used in fleet vehicles, adaptive cruise control (ACC) is a new improvement that takes car safety one step further.
ACC is an advanced driver-assistance system that automatically adjusts a car’s speed, by controlling the acceleration and braking, helping the driver stay within the speed limit, and keep a safe distance from vehicles ahead. Therefore, even if an accident does happen, the survival rate of those involved in the event is considerably higher.
The road can be a dangerous place for cyclists and pedestrians. It’s one thing to suffer a collision when you’re inside the car and an entirely different thing to be hit by a vehicle while you’re cycling or crossing the street. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for drivers to spot cyclists and pedestrians, especially at night or when visibility conditions are poor.
When you can’t rely on your senses, you can rely on advanced sensor systems to warn you against potential obstacles and prevent collisions from happening. As experts at Traffic Angel explain, advanced sensor systems are crucial in enhancing pedestrian and cyclist safety and ensuring all road users stay out of danger.
GPS systems might not make the difference in a life-or-death situation, but they sure come in handy when trying to find your way as you’re navigating unknown territory, and they do provide safety perks as well.
Not only do GPS systems assist you in planning your route, so you can get from point A to point B in the shortest time possible, providing traffic and weather updates in real-time and helping you reduce fuel usage and costs, but they also make driving a lot safer. With a GPS you’ll no longer have to keep one eye on the map and one eye on the road while you’re behind the wheel, so the risk of distractions is greatly reduced. Also, GPS tracking allows employers to keep tabs on their drivers’ whereabouts and provide assistance in case of an emergency.
Wouldn’t it be great if you’d have ample views of your surroundings while you’re driving and never have to worry about blind spots again? Well, technology has made it possible with the development of 360-degree cameras.
While rear-view cameras represented a big step towards eliminating blind spots and helping drivers move with more confidence while parking or driving, the new 360-degree cameras take things to the next level by providing enhanced visibility. Drivers can spot nearby obstacles with ease, making parking a lot simpler, but being able to see from all angles also reduces the risk of collisions while merging and driving.
Tire blowouts used to be one of the most common causes of collisions, but they don’t cause nearly as many accidents right now as they used to. That’s because newer car models have tire pressure monitoring systems installed that warn drivers when one of the tires is underinflated, so they can address the issue in due time.
Low tire pressure is known to increase the risk of accidents since it can lead to tire blowouts. That’s why properly maintaining the tire inflation pressure is crucial for ensuring optimum control of the vehicle. If your car isn’t equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system, make sure to check tire pressure before you hit the road to avoid any unpleasant events.
Did you know that drivers who text while driving are six times more likely to get into a car crash than drunk drivers? That’s not to say you should ditch your phone and grab for that alcohol bottle instead, but this statistic goes to show just how dangerous texting can be when you’re behind the wheel.
Luckily, we now have hands-free technology that allows us to use our phones safely while we’re driving. However, it’s recommended to make use of hand-free features only when it’s absolutely necessary as any kind of distraction can increase the risk of accidents.
Tiredness and driving are not a good combination. While most drivers stop and rest when they feel sleepy, some tend to overestimate their driving abilities and continue to drive even when their attention is greatly diminished.
Automakers have found an effective solution to this issue by implementing lane departure alerts on newer car models. These systems are able to detect lane markers, so when you’re drifting or departing your lane, you will be alerted through visual, vibration, or sound warnings.